This is a session of a first play of Crunch. It was the first time the three of us (my visiting parents and I) had played the game so it took a couple of turns to get the flow going properly. Prior to playing I explained the rules, having done some solitaire playing previously to see how the game goes so I wasn't completely in the dark. One of the things I'd impressed on my parents that the game is designed so that your bank will fail and you have to some embezzling, either via actions on the cards or something a little more "creative". At this point I should note that my parents are super-honest when it comes to games. My Dad is competitive in the extreme and can be quite vindictive with it but he doesn't cheat. My Mum is just as honest but plays like a mouse in games and just wants everyone to have a good game.
I'd done some checking up on it before and we played the variant of having an event-free first round, which I think was a really good idea. It meant we got a bit of a portfolio set up and even then I was starting to think we were going to play for about ten minutes with the money disappearing at an alarming rate.
Once the events starting coming, the fun began. Early on we got a Crunch card come out and I couldn't cover my lent assets. As with the rules, CEOs (players) can lend assets to each other at any time so I asked if anyone could lend me 1m to get me through. "What kind of interest do I get?" asked Dad. That was a typical response. My Mum came to the rescue and let me an asset for the Crunch.
"The Bank of Mum" she said. I duely returned the card.
After a little while, card actions were used. My Dad played a Strike card on me. After missing an interest payment, I made the workforce redundant having previously lost the assets lent on it to a bad debt. I'm not sure if it's in the rules to be able to do that but there was nothing to say that I couldn't. I'm not paying for an non-working workforce. Later on it occured to me to ask if anyone had a card to break the strike and try and come to some deal to buy it.
One of my assets had a value of 4m in value. I decided to put this into my personal fund. After some careful mis-direction, I put the card on my lap. Some turns later, the card fell from my lap and hit the wooden floor. I carried on talking and no-one noticed - thankfully!
A potential area of contention was when my Dad played a card to blind-steal one of my assets. At that point I then played a private bonus card to move my weapons shares assets (totalling 50%) into my bonus pile. I'm not sure if that was the right way to go about it but given that you deal with the most recently played card first in most games then that's what we did. I didn't lose too much on the blind steal.
Mum was the first to go and it was down to Dad and I. We ended up going out of the game on the same turn when a Crunch card came and that was that.
Now was the count-up. I was the only player with a bonus pile and given I had 50% of the shares, their values were doubled. "But, " I said "I also managed to embezzle some extra money." I picked my dropped 4m card and added it to my personal fortune. My ever-honest Mum then pulled out 4m gold she'd stashed on her earlier in the game! I didn't didn't know she had it in her. In all honesty, neither did she. While it was under-handed, it is in the rules.
Meanwhile, my ruthless Dad had no bonus pile and was too honest to try and steal any cards. He was left penniless! My mum and I were laughing like drains and double-high-fived. That was a special moment which will stay with me I think for a long time.
Overall, I think the game is good. Not one for lots of repeated play but certainly one I'd like to play every so often and the fact it's really portable is great. A nice game.
Good review. Thanks!